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Old 3rd April 2013, 02:12 AM   #1
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Smile Active crossovers vs. DSP

I'm currently using two Marchand Electronics active crossovers in parallel as a tri amped set up. They are the XM6 models which allow variable crossover points and adjustable gain on all three amps.

Although I like the Xovers and have never had a problem with them, I'm looking at various manufacturers digital loudspeaker controllers.

They provide crossover work in the digital realm and time delay.
From what I've read so far, the DSP's are designed to work with P.A. systems and "shave off" both the high and low frequencies.
They also provide impedance miss matches to regular audiophile amps.
And, don't have enough gain.

Is it really worth the extra money to go with the digital crossover?
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Old 3rd April 2013, 03:06 AM   #2
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This topic is of interest to myself too.

I have tried a DBX Driverack 480 in the past, but it's start-up/shutdown *POPS* were scary. I read that some of the MiniDSP units which seem very popular, suffer similar issues?

Does something higher-end in terms of DSP crossovers like the DEQX units face these issues?

The Pioneer D-23 electronic crossover unit I have does not exhibit any startup-shutdown pops..
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Old 4th April 2013, 01:54 AM   #3
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Smile active vs digital crossover

The Driverack unit would be my first choice as a digital processor.
The reviews I've read show them to be rugged and reliable. As well as easy to use. However, the reviews were all posted by P.A. technicians for use in P.A. systems.

In the few reviews posted by audiophiles, their complaints were that the digital units "recessed" the stereo image. The high frequencies used by our ears to locate specific sounds were subdued. For me, I don't think I want to make the tradeoff.

The best units are the DEQX. Specificly built for stereophiles or audiophiles. The prices at 4 to 5 thousand dollars are for me, unjustified.
Once understanding the manual and it's programing, it does everything possibe.

I'm leaning towards keeping my two Marchand active crossovers or switching to two 4 way mono xovers to work in stereo. I'd like to be able to have a fourth crossover point in stereo for stereo 15" subwoofers.

Thanks for your reponse and listebing to my "two cents".
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Old 4th April 2013, 04:27 PM   #4
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Have you seen

DSP Xover project (part 2)

WAF - Wroclaw Audio Force

I have fleetingly tried Behringer 2496 and then the above.

I'm very happy with the sound quality and implementation. No start or turn off pops either.
For my rig (5 way horns) DSP gives a lot of flexibility for improving in room measured responses and time aligning the tapped horns that is impossible physically.

Bear in mind that it is a DIY unit but the support from Nick is superb.
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Old 9th April 2013, 01:32 AM   #5
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Smile Thanks

Thanks for the info and the link.
I looked at their web site .And their boards and module look well built and suited to audio.

Do you use their dsp kits and how do they sound?
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Old 9th April 2013, 01:47 AM   #6
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A digital crossover sounds as good as the DAC at its output. What DAC are you currently using to feed your Marchands? I take it they're opamp based as they say 'state variable filters' so I reckon not as transparent as their passive LLXOs or as a digital XO.
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Old 10th April 2013, 02:41 AM   #7
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Default digital crossovers

Hello and thank you for your reply.
I'm using an older Adcom GCD-750 cd player. Have considered using it as a transport with an outboard dac.

Yes, I believe the Marchand Xovers are op amp based.

The cd player feeds an Adcom GFP-750 pre amp. I use it's passive attentuator for volume control and bypass the active stage. It then sends the signal to the first xover and out to the other xover to allow me a 3 way to tri amp.

Would really like to step up to a dsp and replace the Marchands.
I've read that many of the available dsp's are built for p.a. use and shave off the high frequencies. I also like the idea of being able to accurately time align the drivers.

Any opinions or info would be appreciated.

Thanks again.
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Old 10th April 2013, 03:40 AM   #8
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I checked out some online internal pics of the Adcom player, its a very nice looking piece of work. The DAC chips look to be PCM1702s - is it built as a transport and DAC inside the same box? I ask because it looks to have an S/PDIF receiver chip in there, it also has the best digital filter chip known to man (PMD100) so it would be a bit of a pity not to use its D/A functions. I haven't seen any DSP based XOs using such high-end DAC chips, so chances are if you use an external digital XO as your DAC you'll be taking a step backwards in SQ.
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Old 10th April 2013, 07:22 AM   #9
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DAC in the Najda DSP X/O.

http://www.cirrus.com/en/pubs/proDat...CS42428_F1.pdf

From
DSP Xover project (part 2)

Some would say, DACs are only as good as the supporting circuitry. The whole unit has to be properly designed.

Last edited by Speedysteve7; 10th April 2013 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 10th April 2013, 09:02 AM   #10
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Sure its entirely possible to screw up a decent chip with poor PSU and/or layout. Conversely though you can't get a silk purse from a sow's ear - start with an S-D chip from Cirrus and there's very little point in attention to the finer details, the ceiling's already firmly in place. At least that was my experience in trying to improve a CS4398.
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